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on April 4, 2012
I took a little while longer to work my way through this book than I usually do. I wanted to incorporate some of their programs into my own routine before writing a review.

Over half of the book is filled with detailed scientific information on how the body works, how exercise effects metabolism, strength, and your over-all health, myths of exercise and strength training, and the differences between traditional advice given to women who are weight training vs. the conclusions of current research.

The other half of the book is focused on specific weight training programs for different parts of the body, with thorough instructions and detailed photographs of each exercise. Each training section also includes detailed pictures of the muscle groups targeted and information on how the exercises change the muscle.

Of all the women's training books that I have read and used, "A Woman's Guide to Muscle and Strength" is one of the easiest to follow, and best informed. And based on my own use of the exercise routines, it seems to be a highly effective guide. I would recommend it to anyone who is starting a strength training program.
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on February 27, 2012
Irene doesn't just tell you what to do to get the body you want--she explains WHY certain methods do and dont work. It's much easier to have the desire and ability to implement a workout when there is knowledge behind the madness! Thanks to Irene for not just "feeding us fish," but teaching us "HOW to fish" so we can be successful independently :) Time to take action ladies!
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on October 3, 2012
I have tried out many books so that I can start an exercise program in a safe way. I have lost weight on an allergy-free diet and I need to fill out with muscle.
The book is superb. It has all the latest training information and complete workouts to get me started. What it lacks is an index of exercises. It has an exercise finder but it still took me a while to figure out where every exercise was because they are not alphabetical. It would have been helpful to have the exercise page numbers on the workout sheets.
Another thing that would have been wonderful is a website with videos of the exercise so that I could be sure that I was using perfect form. I can go on youtube and put in the exercise but I'm not sure I should trust some of those videos.
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on October 12, 2013
Great book! It's about exercise and strength and not about diets and recipes. I have been doing the workouts for 3 months now, I can see a difference in my body. Great for cross training I was able to complete 7 days cycling trip without a problem, my legs felt great.
Some of the workouts are a little longer than others, it can be a challenge is your time is limited. But overall big thumbs up.
I can't wait for the sequel.
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on June 14, 2012
This is a fabulous book if you want to know the basics about lifting. It's well written, great explanations, exhaustive coverage. I would absolutely recommend.
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on February 12, 2014
I'm a 57-year-old woman who would like to get more fit but I've found myself overwhelmed by all the information out there, intimidated by gyms and complicated dance type exercise classes, and not interested in extreme "Biggest Loser" type workouts that make me wish I was dead instead of making me feel stronger. What I've wanted was solid, basic information about what works and a realistic workout for a woman of my age and fitness level that I could do at home and without having to invest in expensive equipment. A Woman's Guide to Muscle and Strength has provided that.

I appreciate the common sense approach the author takes while providing scientific information in layman's terms that any reader can understand. The chapter on the myths and pitfalls about strength training for women was especially helpful in addressing issues such as whether using heavy weights will develop big, unfeminine muscles; cardio vs. strength training for fat loss, and whether one can "spot reduce" through exercise. There is also a helpful chart that lists over 100 exercises, the muscle groups they target, the equipment needed (if any), and page number so that readers can customize their own workout to address specific needs. The author includes valuable information and a series of self-assessment tests to help the reader determine their fitness level, what size of weights or level of resistance to start with, how many reps are recommended, how to discern between normal soreness vs. pain that could be an injury, how to move beyond a plateau, etc.

The exercises are presented with clear photos and easy to follow instructions. I appreciated the variety of equipment used to work the same muscles, ranging from standard gym equipment to using the body's own weight for resistance, allowing readers a choice based on accessibility and budget. Most equipment featured is easily found online or in sports stores or super-stores like Walmart or Target, including kettlebells, medicine balls, balance balls, foam rollers, resistance bands, and hand weights. The book also features suspension training using the TRX suspension training. The home version of that system starts at around $200 but I purchased the Dosho Jam Gym system for less than $30 which suits my purposes as a beginner and provides a good workout for the areas I want to target.

I'm encouraged that I can use this book to develop a safe and sensible strength training workout for myself that will help me reach my fitness goals, and feel women of any age or fitness level can likewise benefit from the information it contains.

I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher but the opinion of it is my own and was not solicited, nor was a positive review required.
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on August 22, 2013
I am a mother of four and work full time. I reached my 3 year mark of being cancer-free and was looking for a plan that would help me rebuild my strength and muscle tone. After trying to accomplish this without a plan I kept finding myself too sore and then too tired and would stop. This workout plan changes in intensity every couple of weeks so that you are building muscles. It gives you alternating workouts for alternating days so that alternating muscles are being pushed. The exercises are simple to do and most of them you don't need a weight machine for, and anyways it gives you an alternative exercise if the weight machine is not available. I found I could follow this plan and I wasn't feeling too sore that I couldn't take care of my family.
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on February 20, 2012
This book is a great addition to my fitness library. After taking a resistance training class taught by Irene, I saw results. Better information, better workouts, better results. Thanks, Irene, for telling it like it is!
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on February 16, 2014
Was looking for a big book of exercises and this did not disappoint. Instruction is great and love that it gives multiple versions of how to work areas with free weights and machines.
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on July 18, 2013
As a 60 something I found I was losing strength particularly in my golf game so bought this book and it certainly inspired and motivated me to do something about it. It was clearly set out and written in easy language, explaining the whys and wherefores of bodybuilding and how to go about starting my own programmer.
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